Brendan Kelly QC – Associate Member



Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of Silk: 2008

Book BarristerDownload Details

Having taken silk in 2008, Brendan Kelly is cited by Chambers UK and The Legal 500 as a leading QC in the fields of both Crime and Fraud, after many years of being noted as such whilst a leading junior. He has been described as having “a phenomenal court presence” and “a charming style of advocacy [which] makes him a huge hit with both judge and jury”.


  • Crime

    Brendan’s practice encompasses all forms of serious crime, fraud and financial crime, and all fields of regulation, particularly those affecting corporate clients and professionals. He is also much in demand by international clients for advisory and advocacy work in foreign jurisdictions. He also appears regularly in serious and complex cases before the Northern Ireland courts; in recent months, he has achieved an acquittal in the longest ever “supergrass” UVF terrorist trial, and is currently instructed to defend in the high-profile alleged “Continuity IRA” shooting of a police officer.

    He is regularly instructed by high-profile sports professionals to represent them in proceedings before the criminal courts, and any related proceedings brought by their regulator. Recent cases have seen him represent a leading racehorse trainer, and a Formula One racing driver.

    Brendan is a regular speaker at seminars and conferences, and last year contributed to a series of webinars on criminal topics. He has also recently lectured to City and international firms on white-collar issues. Last Autumn, he shared a platform with the US Attorney General in Washington DC, addressing an audience of US lawyers on the Bribery Act 2010.

    Cases – Serious Crime

    R v JL (Defence QC): Acquitted of all charges in the longest ever UVF supergrass terrorist trial to be heard in Northern Ireland. Brendan’s client and his co-defendants were charged with more than thirty offences, including the murder of UDA leader Tommy English, kidnapping, hijacking, wounding, firearms offences and UVF membership. The case relied almost entirely on the evidence of so-called supergrasses Robert and Ian Stewart. After extensive legal argument, Mr Justice Gillen ruled that, in this case, the credibility of the principal witnesses was not such as to allow him to be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendants. In his judgment he said that the Stewart brothers had been “ruthless terrorists who had lived on a daily diet of lies”, and that they were “witnesses of very bad character who have lied to the police and to the court; on some occasions wrongly implicated a number of men who were clearly not present at the crimes suggested”. The collapse of the case has led to significant debate over the future use of supergrass evidence. Brendan was instructed by John Greer at Reavey & Co.

    R v X: Successfully represented son of a Conservative MP charged with wounding offence. Instructed by Paul Morris, BCL Burton Copeland.

    R v Thakrar and others (QC for the defence): 20 year old charged with the murder of three and the attempted murder of two others. Following a drugs transaction the defendant was said to have called a meeting to which all five victims were invited. He was said to have discharged in excess of 20 rounds of machine gun fire. The case lasted 8 weeks at St Albans Crown Court in front of Cooke J.

    R v Beaumont (QC for the defence): Mr. Beaumont was charged with murder. The matter concerned the death of a juvenile inflicted by a broken champagne bottle.

    R v Wallace and others (QC for the prosecution: Wallace and 8 others were charged with conspiracy to rob. The allegation concerned in excess of 40 bank robberies. The plan culminated in “Chandler’s Ford” when two of the gun men were shot dead during the course of their attack.

    R v Mullen and others (QC for the defence): Three men were charged with Conspiracy to commit blackmail. Two of three had a history of republican activism back in the 1980’s. The prosecution alleged a plot to use their “status” in order to extort funds.

    R v Boreland and others (QC for the defence): 15 year old charged with murder. He was alleged to be a member of a notorious Hackney gang who had jointly attacked the deceased with knives. The case lasted 8 weeks at the Central Criminal Court. The Defendant was acquitted of the offence of Murder.

    R v Harris and others (Defence (Leader)): Mr. Harris was charged with attempted murder, by shooting. The matter concerned rival Jamaican gangs locked in dispute over the sale of drugs. Mr. Harris was acquitted following a three week trial.

    R v Harold Richardson (Defence): Harold Richardson was jointly charged with two others with the murder of a business associate. The case, described as a contract killing, drew national interest due to its alleged link with the “Brink’s-Mat” robbery. In due course, at the conclusion of the 12 week trial, Mr Richardson was acquitted his co-defendants being convicted.

    R v Suchodolskis and (9) others (Prosecution (Leader)): Ten men were charged over their involvement with people trafficking. This particular gang, comprised of Lithuanian and Chinese nationals, were concerned in the buying and selling of teenage girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The case resolved by way of pleas; a total of 60 year imprisonment followed.

    Book BarristerBack to top
  • Fraud - Criminal

    Brendan’s recent cases include being instructed for the first defendant in the largest ever identity fraud case to have come before the courts to date. He also successfully represented the son of a well known Conservative politician against allegations of offences of violence.

    Fraud Cases

    R v Lord Rodley and others (QC for the defence): Case concerns the attempt by an organized group to defraud a central London Bank of £300 million.

    R v Ketheesvaran and others (QC for the defence): The defendant was one of a number of defendants charged with an alleged fraud and a linked Kidnap. The gang were said to have defrauded credit card companies to the tune of £30 million. After the defence submissions the Crown were compelled to offer no evidence.

    R v Kieran Fallon, Darren Williams, and others: Darren Williams was said to be party to a conspiracy to defraud by “fixing” horse races. He was one of three jockeys charged with the offence. The learned judge ruled that there was no case to answer at the close for the prosecution case.

    Book BarristerBack to top